NoMa’s rooftop renaissance continues this week with the opening of Yara, a scenic new spot to sample refreshing caipirinhas, Peruvian street foods, and gold-dusted octopus across the 13th floor of the Washington Marriott Capitol Hill.
The 235-room hotel (175 L Street NE) opened in January within walking distance to the U.S. Capitol, Union Station, and Union Market. Its anticipated rooftop restaurant and bar, opening Thursday, April 27, specializes in Latin American cuisine with a focus on seafood. Yara’s Japanese-Peruvian head chef Yuki Nakandakari previously led the kitchen at D.C.’s Ocopa Restaurant and Baltimore’s Pisco Restaurant.
Hours are Thursday and Sunday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to midnight.
Four opening ceviches includes a traditional Peruvian medley of halibut, sweet potatoes, corn nuts, and fiery leche de tigre and an Amazonian-leaning bowl of Verlasso salmon, plantains, sweet drop peppers, and passion fruit leche de tigre. A section of small plates includes blistered shishito peppers with chimichurri and huancaina (Peruvian chilli cheese sauce) and papa a la huancaina, a Peruvian favorite featuring purple native potatoes, quail egg, huancaina, and aji amarillo confit.
The menu plans to carve out room for Peru’s popular street skewers (anticuchos), with proteins like chicken breast and beef tenderloin tips marinated in a rich ají panca sauce.
Yara’s opening builds upon NoMa’s newfound status as a rooftop hotspot. Michelin-starred chef Nicholas Stefanelli, who brought French restaurant Le Clou to the foot of the stylish 200-room Morrow Hotel in December, added a chic upstairs counterpart this spring with Champagne, spritzes, playful drinking snacks, and sprawling city views. Yara is part of the newly developed NoMa Center, which brings 40,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space to the Northeast neighborhood.
Yara also honors Japan’s influence on Peru with a Nikkei selection of sushi rolls (shrimp tempura, avocado, tuna, acevichado sauce, shichimi, togarashi) and octopus, garlic crostini, arare masago, and botijera sauce dusted with 24-karat edible gold.
Cocktails ($16-$19) loop in lots of Latin fruits and spirits like rum, tequila, and pisco. The opening list includes a boozy or spirit-free mojito, and Yara’s answer to the ubiquitous espresso martini is made with mole bitters. The marbled bar also sends out canned, bottled, and draft beers and wines by the glass and bottle.
Meaty mains include half-rotisserie chicken, marinated overnight in Peruvian spices and local IPA beer, plated with yuca fries and salsas.
Peruvian cuisine is having a moment around D.C. Shaw tasting room Causa, one of Eater’s Best New Restaurants in America, is currently up for a national James Beard Award. And Dupont’s turquoise-tinged ceviche bar Pisco y Nazca will soon expand to Reston Town Center.
Yara joins all-day American restaurant Society Commons at Marriott’s first franchised property in D.C.